Friday, January 30, 2009


Tomorrow afternoon we leave for Argentina... flying via JFK and Buenos Aires to Mendoza. About a 24hr journey altogether so we arrive Sunday evening local time. A day to sort stuff out and then the trek begins...

I am pretty excited about it. Especially now that I have finally got everything packed! And it did feel rather nice putting my out of office on my email :)

Cerro Aconcagua
Looks quite benign from this angle. All 6962m of it...

For anyone interested I thought I'd post the day-to-day itinerary:

Feb 1 (Sun): Arrive in Mendoza, hotel

Feb 2 (Mon): Sort Gear and get permit, transport to Pentitentes (2720 meters), hotel

Feb 3 (Tues): Drive to Punta de Vacas, hike 8k to Las Lenas (2700m), easy trail, mules carry baggage (this part I like), camping

Feb 4: Hike 18k to Casa de Piedra (3200m), easy trail, mules carry baggage, camping

Feb 5: Hike 15k to basecamp, "Plaza Argentina" (4200m), steep trail walking, mules carry baggage, camping

Feb 6: Rest in basecamp

Feb 7: Carry loads (what, no mules?) to Camp 1 (5000m), scree and melted ice mixed with rocks, 4-6 hour hike, return to basecamp

Feb 8: Rest day in basecamp

Feb 9: Return to Camp 1

Feb 10: Carry loads to Camp 2 (5900m), scree and melted ice mixed with rocks, 6-7 hour hike, return to Camp 1

Feb 11: Return to Camp 2.

Feb 12: Rest in Camp 2; prepare for summit attempt

Feb 13: Climb Traverse to connect with normal route at Independencia to Summit (6962m), descend via Normal Route and traverse back to Camp 2

Feb 15-16: Extra days allowed for inclement weather/acclimatization, as well as for multiple ascents of the mountain (yeah!)

Feb 17: Descend to basecamp, Plaza Argentina

Feb 18: Descend to Punta de Vacas, transport to Pentitentes

Feb 19 (Thurs): Back to Mendoza

Feb 20 (Fri): Mendoza

Feb 21 (Sat): Fly Mendoza-Santiago-Dallas-Mpls

And as I head south, a few others are heading north... to the Canadian border... to the Arrowhead Trail... to compete in one of the most challenging events anywhere in the world:

Good Luck & Be Safe!